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Physics Guidance to a physics future thanks!

  1. Jul 16, 2012 #1
    Hello every one, I do not know if this thread is in the right place, if it is not I can repost in appropriate place. I do not want to bother any admins or high users because of my error.

    I always had a passion for physics theoretic but never found myself good at math. Currently I am pushing myself to learn algebra all over again and trying to build my mathematic back ground up. I am about to start college and I am trying to major in mathematics to strengthen my weakness. If anyone could help me in the correct direction as to what mathematics would be good for me to learn, and even guide me a little. I am not asking for anyone to hold my hand I just need a decent guide to help me start out.

    I admit I was lazy for the first part of my life but I want to change that, I realize my passion and I want to follow through with it. However it’s difficult to learn on my own so if someone also knows a decent teaching aid for learning formulas mathematics I would be appreciative

    Bachelor’s mathematics minor physics
    Master physics
    PHD quantum physics
    I may not be the smartest apple in the world but damn hell if I am not going to try.


    p.s im a visual learner, its difficult to see things in my mind that i cant put to paper. just putting that out there.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 16, 2012 #2
    To understand most of undergraduate math you just need to know a few basic principles very well. Math is not really about memorizing formulas, although those can be handy.

    Algebra is all about abstraction. People find some structure they are interested in studying. This structure comes with its own rules and by playing the game one can learn some interesting things. By studying the game long enough one can acquire deeper intuition about the objects of interest.

    In high school algebra we mostly deal with polynomials. They are natural things to look at because they are built with the basic operations of addition and multiplication.

    Linear algebra, for example, is the study of vector spaces and linear transformations. Since linear transformations can be represented as matrices, there is usually a lot of related matrix theory as well.

    Calculus is about change, measure, sensitivity, and relative size. Analysis, with all its epsilons and deltas, is about trying to make our intuitive notions about these things precise, or rigorous.

    I recommend going through Michael Spivak's Calculus and doing as many problems as possible. There are many many books on linear algebra, but you should definitely learn about vector spaces. Don't come out not knowing what a linear transformation is (sadly some people who take engineering-based linear algebra courses are like this).

    Linear algebra is especially important, try to learn it well.
  4. Jul 16, 2012 #3
    Thanks a lot :) its nice to have some guidance. I will start to look into this materials. Again ty for the info
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